For many of us, this is our first time living through a pandemic of this magnitude. Our access to information in the modern world is absolutely to our advantage but can feel also extremely overwhelming at times. While we are all grasping at connection via apps and facetimes, this time can feel exhausting and mentally taxing. Finding positivity in a bleak situation may be particularly challenging for some, so below, are five things to do for your mental health amid COVID-19.
Taking a walk
An obvious recommendation, but an important one, nonetheless. Fresh air, sunshine and a working lymphatic system can do wonders for a quarantine crisis. Adequately distance yourself from others (word on the street is six feet), and head for nature. Bonus points for seeing happy dogs along the way, double bonus points for adopting my method of bringing wine in a keep cup to stop and sip along the way.
Cook some meals for those who need it
I am someone who has people over for dinner multiple times a week. Not being able to cook for anyone except my dietarily challenged girlfriend is not ideal. To remedy this, I am cooking meals for a doctor friend working in a Sydney COVID ward who is pulling 60-hour weeks and doesn’t have time to whip up a lamb shoulder. Use your network to find people who would appreciate not having to think about how they will fuel themselves next and lend a hand, the energy exchange feels good.
Schedule group calls
Between friends, colleagues and family members. Apps like Zoom or House Party – which gets bonus points because you can play virtual heads up – are great for larger groups. Pour yourself a hefty glass of chilled red and settle in. Belly laughs and solidarity are a great remedy for loneliness.
Make time to move
The aforementioned wine walk may be enough for you, but if you’re looking to do something more body oriented, many yoga studios have gone online, holding Skype classes to do from home and offering memberships at a fraction of their usual price. One Hot Yoga is offering mat pilates and yoga classes via Skype for just $10 per week. Get stretching.
The news, while relevant and useful can be extremely overwhelming. As can watching people use this time, which is very scary and uncertain for some, making sourdough in the middle of the day and reorganizing their jewellery cabinets. Take a few hours each night to switch off post-group call. Talk to your partner/housemate/pet or read a novel that has nothing to do with the news and give your brain a moment to reset.